The Baltimore Orioles have ridden their offensive success most of the season, but their recent woes at the plate continued Sunday afternoon as they fell to the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 and are now 4 1/2 games back of the wildcard with just seven games remaining.
Baltimore was being shutout, but courtesy of a two out RBI double by Matt Wieters, the Birds at least got on the board. The Orioles managed just three hits on the afternoon and have been absolutely abysmal in the first three games of this series and the finale at Boston.
The Birds have lost four games in a row and have scored a combined seven runs over those four games. Since the eighth inning of Friday Night's 18 inning marathon, the Orioles have scored just two runs on 10 hits in their last 29 innings.
There could not have been a worse time for this team to go through a slump like this as they are now 4 1/2 games out of the second wildcard spot with seven games to play and barring a small miracle, the Orioles playoff chances are now done.
"Basically, how it's going to turn out is we're going to have to win out and hope for the best on other sides," said center fielder Adam Jones. "We have to take care of our business. It's not easy playing the game as is, but we battle and we grind and sometimes it's like the saying Jim Thome used to use. Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes you're the windshield. Past couple days we've been the bug, so we need to get back to being that windshield. I don't think we can call around, call different teams and ask them to lose their games. We've just got to control what we can control. We can't control anything else except ourselves in this clubhouse. We're grown men in here. Live with the result when we're going out there giving it our all. Sometimes, you just fall short."
Scott Feldman (5-5) got the start for the Birds and pitched OK as he allowed three runs on six hits, two walks and seven strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings pitched, but with the offense not scoring any runs, that outing is going to look worse than it actually was.
Baltimore will look to avoid the sweep this afternoon as they send Wei-Yin Chen (7-7) to the mound against Tampa Bay right hander Chris Archer (9-7). After tonight, the Orioles will return home for their final six games of the season and hope to have just a glimmer of hope still remaining for their playoff chances.
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